By TONY EIERDAM
Wichita Falls Hirschi broke open a close game with a 15-2 run in the third quarter as the Lady Huskies went on to defeat the Mineral Wells Lady Rams, 71-33, Friday afternoon at the MWHS gym.
The loss drops the MWHS ladies to 3-12.
The game was not on the Lady Rams’ original schedule. Both schools lost a game due to the recent ice storm, and late Thursday night it was decided the two teams would play in Mineral Wells.
Hirschi’s quick defenders caused problems for the Lady Rams, who were outscored 37-6 in the second half.
“Hirschi is very quick and very aggressive defensively,” Lady Rams head coach Leslie Holman said. “We just could not find the bucket in the second half.
“Playing a game is better than having practice, and there were not any more days to make up the game we lost due to the ice storm.” The UIL mandates all high school basketball teams must take five consecutive days off in and around Christmas with no practices or games.
The Lady Rams will play at the Burkburnett tournament Dec. 27-28 and will start district play the following week.
“This is a good time for a break,” Holman concluded.
The Lady Rams took the early lead when sophomore wing Ashley Valdez swished a three-pointer from the left baseline and sophomore point guard Natalie Ragland whipped a pass to junior guard Pam Hopkins for a layup for a 5-2 advantage.
Hirschi scored the next four points before senior post Ashlynn Robinson hit a jumper from the lane to give the Lady Rams a 7-6 lead.
However, it was the last lead the Lady Rams would enjoy.
Hirschi closed the opening period on a 6-1 run to take a 12-8 lead after eight minutes.
In the second quarter Hirschi extended its lead to 23-12 before Hopkins canned a pair from the lane and post Tabby Santibanez scored on a put back to cut the Hirschi lead to 23-16 with 3:03 left in the half. Santibanez showed moxie under the boards by grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds.
Ragland did her best to keep the score close by hitting a pair of free throws and followed with a driving layup and a jumper from the lane to cut the lead to 27-22.
The Lady Rams cut the lead to four points later in the period after a dribble-drive layup by Valdez, but Hirschi hit a trey to end the half and went into the locker room with a 34-27 cushion.
The second half belonged to the Lady Huskies. After Valdez hit a pair of charity shots and canned a short jumper early in the third quarter to cut the lead to 36-31, Hirschi shut down MWHS for the remaining five minutes of the period and scored 13 unanswered points to take a 49-31 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Rams’ scoreless streak continued until Ragland sank a pair from the line with 4:34 left to play that cut Hirschi’s lead to 59-33.
The Lady Huskies ended the game on a 12-0 run.
HHS 12 22 15 22 – 71
MWHS 8 19 4 2 – 33
MWHS – Natalie Ragland 10, Ashley Valdez 9, Pam Hopkins 7, Tabby Santibanez 3, Ashlynn Robinson 2, Scarlett Eaton 2.